While former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson’s July 30 match may have drawn more buys for Showtime Sports than Erik Morales’s July 31 bout, it’s the smaller man who may pack a stronger future pay-per-view punch.
At press time, it was still unclear how many buys the Tyson-Danny Williams fight generated, but industry observers believe it was only slightly above the nearly 150,000 buys Morales drew in beating Carlos Hernandez to unify the super featherweight title.
Industry executives said Williams’ shocking fourth-round KO all but finished Tyson as a big-ticket PPV draw and may have ended his career. It was unclear if Showtime — which signed Tyson to a multifight deal prior to the July 31 event — will look to distribute any of his future bouts as PPV cards.
If Tyson’s PPV future is in limbo, Morales’ appeal is apparently on the rise. HBO Sports senior vice president of sports operations Mark Taffet said the Morales performance was his best since drawing 300,000 buys in a June 2002 bout against Marco Antonio Barerra.
Although no bouts have been scheduled, Taffet said Morales may fight one more PPV event this fall. Down the line, Morales could square off against such top names as Floyd Mayweather and Barerra again.